Nurses reach tentative contract agreement with Michigan Medicine

Saturday, September 29, 2018 - 11:08am

The University of Michigan Professional Nurses Council has reached a tentative 3-year contract agreement with Michigan Medicine administrators. The agreement comes after 100 days of bargaining since January. Their previous contract expired on June 30.

The nearly 6,000 nurses employed by Michigan Medicine will ratify the agreement at membership meetings in the coming weeks. The details of the contract agreement have not yet been released to the public, but in a press release, UMPNC chair Katie Oppenheim said the bargaining team is satisfied with the agreement.

“Our bargaining team is recommending this agreement because it will allow nurses to continue to provide world-class care. We are proud of our nurses and their ongoing dedication to patients.”

While most contract points have been decided on for at least several weeks, the union has been calling on the hospital to include a provision that would prevent them from lowering the current nurse-to-patient ratios used at Michigan Medicine.

After filing several unfair labor practice charges against hospital administrators, UMPNC members voted Sept. 17 to authorize a 3-day work stoppage in the event they could not reach a favorable agreement.

Nurses previously filed an unfair labor practice after David Spahlinger, president of the University of Michigan Health System, sent them an email affirming his commitment to keeping the staffing ratios but them refused to codify it in their contract.

But Spahlinger said in a press release he’s excited about the potential agreement.

“We are pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with our nurses’ union. Reaching a resolution is the best possible outcome for our hospital employees, our patients and our community,” Spahlinger said.

Outside of the press release sent out jointly with the UMPNC, Michigan Medicine was unable to comment on the tentative agreement at this time.

Grace Kay contributed reporting to this story.